Healthy, Homemade Dog Food – updated raw recipe

My dog, Bella is one of my favorite “people” in the world. She was a timid, mangy mess when we rescued her about 8 years ago.  She has become a funny, loyal, and loving companion to our family.

Bella waiting for her dog food to defrost
Bella waiting for her dog food

She was still shy and cowering after a month or two of living with us, but was getting better every day. Around this time, my young son and I were playing Chutes and Ladders on the floor. She eyed us from the corner of the room for a few minutes. She slowly grabbed her bone, came over to us, laid her bone on the playing board and spun the spinner with her nose. I DID NOT DOCTOR THIS STORY IN ANY WAY. My son and I laughed until we cried and hugged Bella while we cooed, “Good doggie.”  She wagged her big tail in delight. It was a turning point.

I could go on and on with funny stories about her. But you get the point. She means the world to us. Anyone who has a dog or a pet that they love can relate.

Imagine my terror about a year ago when she suddenly couldn’t get up and down the stairs anymore. She would either fall, struggle, or simply stare at the stairs knowing that she couldn’t tackle them.

I knew that when we adopted her she was one to two years old, but that only made her nine at the most. Was she really that “old” all of a sudden?

I started researching and wouldn’t you know, her diet seemed to be the problem. I had her on some decent (read: expensive) dog food because she had always suffered from a sensitive stomach. When I read the ingredients I was horrified to see that it had corn, soy and canola; three genetically modified foods that I would never feed my family. It also had a lot of grains which are apparently bad for dogs.

It was a bit ironic that I spent so much time fussing over what my family ate, but I totally forgot to overhaul Bella’s diet. I learned how to make homemade dog food. It became really expensive and very time consuming so I have begun giving her homemade food in the morning and a high quality, grain-free dog food at night.

It only took about a week on the homemade dog food for me to see that she was completely back to normal.  Since then, she has been without incident and can tackle the stairs like a young pup.

Here is my recipe for delectable (according to Bella) dog food:

Ingredients (I use all organic):

Organ meat (hearts and or liver) and sometimes other types of meat

Fresh or frozen blueberries (half a frozen bag or a pint of fresh)

1/4 cup of frozen peas

Pumpkin, sweet potato and or squash

2 Carrots

1/2-1 Beet

Flax seeds

Sprig of rosemary (keeps fleas at bay)

1/4 tsp tumeric


Put all fruits and vegetables in a food processor or blender. It is VERY IMPORTANT TO GRIND THE FRUITS AND VEGGIES UP OR THE DOG CAN’T ABSORB THE NUTRIENTS. I grind everything frozen and then throw in the fresh stuff. Add in the organ meat and meat. Blend until it is soupy. I feed this raw blend to her. I used to cook it, but decided it is better for her this way. 

How much you give your dog depends on his/her weight. Bella weighs 55 pounds. I give her a half cup of good quality dog food and about 3/4 cups of homemade dog food. I feed her this in the morning and just her regular good quality packaged food at night.

You should supplement your dog’s food with raw, meaty bones from the butcher.

In the summer I am going to add brewer’s yeast to the mix. I have heard it wards off fleas.

Let me know what you think (except my vegan blog friends, I already know what you think… sorry!) I guess that brings up a good point. What do your vegan dogs eat? I’m open.

Author: Lauren

Plant-based educator and speaker

12 thoughts on “Healthy, Homemade Dog Food – updated raw recipe”

  1. This is wonderful! Our diabetic dog’s prescription diet is full of corn and chemicals, and I keep thinking he’ll never be healthy when he’s on all that junk! I’m going to talk to our vet and see if something like this might work. Thank you so much for posting this. 🙂

  2. Thanks for the “like” Lauren! I’ll have to give this a try for Otis, as well as our newer addition, Oxford. I’m sure they won’t mind being taste testers! Love your posts on healthy foods, and thank you for your efforts to get that word out. Hope we’ll stay in touch.

  3. That’s so cool that you do this for Bella. I don’t have a pet right now. My kids and I are still thinking about getting a dog. Our schedules are a little hectic right now and I don’t want to have a pet if I can’t devote my time to taking care of it; it’s nor fair. But if and when we get one, I’ll refer to your recipe. 🙂

  4. Bella is beautiful and so lucky to live with you.

    I raw feed both of my dogs. Initially I was reluctant because I thought it would be a lot of work, but it is so easy. In the morning they get a little raw minced up 100% meat (I buy this in packages) mixed with some finely chopped veggies or fruit (often cooking apple – no pips) or cabbage leaves – really whatever we have spare in the garden). I also add a raw or boiled egg when we have lots and sometime a little oil or yoghurt. If we have some leftover rice they get that too. In the evening they eat raw chicken carcass. They also get fed on bits of offal we don’t want from our animals, intestines, feet, turkey heads etc. It is scary when you watch them first eat a turkey head, but they love it. They also eat spare pork bones from our pigs. They are thriving on this diet and it means we reduce our waste.

    Many years ago I had some vegan friends who fed their dogs a vegan or vegetarian diet – they seemed to do OK on it. Personally I think there would be a riot if I tried that here.

    I love your blog by the way.

  5. Love your post. Looking for healthier options for my boxer. I like your frozen patty idea. Maybe defrost overnight in the Fridge?? Can’t wait to try some of these ideas. Thanks!

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